Edie has begun memorizing things. She sings along to her favorite song about the moon, and the other night she surprised James and me by reading her whole bedtime book--right words, right pages. We were duly impressed.
The other night I was putting her to bed. I could tell she had a ways to go before she got tired, so I started in on my lullabies. I think everyone sings something different to their children, depending on what they like, or, probably more importantly, what they happen to remember the words to.
I sing her one of my favorite hymns, How Gentle God's Commands, but, with a two extra verses. Did you know that one of Emily Dickinson's poems has the same meter as that hymn? I didn't, until an English class at BYU-I sophomore year.
So, I started in, and suddenly, Edie started singing too,
The Bustle in the House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth--
The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
All the words.
Then, she turned her head toward me and sang along with every lullaby I sing, Silver Dagger, Simple Gifts, and all four of the actual verses of How Gentle God's Commands.
It was as though she's been listening for two years, very carefully, making sure she knew all the words, so she could make a really grand gesture.
And it worked. I could barely sing for the half-laughing, half-crying. How could she know those words? How could she sing those words in her baby voice, So seek another tender maiden, and hope that she will be your bride?
She hasn't done it since, at night she's kept her head down and her pacifier in. I tried to get her to do it again the other day, but, unsurprisingly, she just glanced at me and kept running, intent on something else entirely.